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UTSD alum (’78) was head referee at Super Bowl XLV


Walt Anderson, DDS, officiates a 2010 Bengals-Colts
matchup in Indianapolis. Photo by Bill Nichols Photo

Standing midfield in Cowboys Stadium Feb. 6 before a crowd of 100,000 and a television audience of 111 million more, Walt Anderson, DDS, laid down a few ground rules for the coin toss.  It’s heads;  the Green Bay Packers win the toss, and so begins Super Bowl XLV and Anderson’s duties as referee. The retired general dentist, a 1978 graduate of The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, officiated his second Super Bowl since becoming a National Football League referee in 1996, this time as the head of the game’s seven-man crew. Read the full story on the American Dental Association website.


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UTHealth STAR Awards

Jackie Duke Anna Senegal Nurys Brokate

Dr. Jackie Duke


Nurys Brokate

Dr. Jackie Duke, Anna Senegal and Nurys Brokate. Photos by Dwight Andrews.

Service awards, as well as a special leadership award, were celebrated at the annual STAR Awards luncheon Feb. 15 at the Houston Marriott Medical Center Hotel.  University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) employees celebrating 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 years of service were honored for their dedication to UTHealth.  No School of Dentistry employees were in the 35-year group, but three were honored for 30 years of service: Nurys Brokate, Anna Senegal and Pauline “Jackie” Duke, PhD. Many School of Dentistry employees were honored in the other categories.  To see the complete list, CLICK HERE.  Dr. Brent King, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and executive vice dean of clinical affairs at the Medical School, received the Michael J. Jimenez Leadership in Action Award.  This prestigious award honors the memory of the late Michael J. Jimenez, UTHealth vice president and chief human resources officer, who made an indelible mark on the university in just four short years.

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ADA Health Screening Program chair

Charles Streckfus, DDS

Charles Streckfus, DDS

Charles Streckfus, DDS, professor in the Department of Diagnostic Sciences, has agreed to serve as chair of the American Dental Association’s Council Advisory Committee for the Health Screening Program (HSP).  Since 1964, thousands of dental professionals have participated in the HSP, which collects, analyzes and disseminates occupational health research data used to help make the dental office safer for patients as well as the dental team.  The ADA has committed $350,000 for the 2011 screening program. In recent years, longitudinal data from the program has been used to drive policy recommendations regarding hepatitis B vaccination, bloodborne pathogens, mercury hygiene, hepatitis C surveillance and much more. 

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On ‘Healthy Texas Babies’ panel

James Katancik, DDS, PhD

James Katancik, DDS, PhD

The Texas Department of State Health Services, in partnership with the March of Dimes, has undertaken an initiative to reduce infant mortality in Texas. The “Healthy Texas Babies” initiative will be guided by a panel of experts in Texas, including James Katancik, DDS, PhD, associate professor and chair of the Department of Periodontics of The University of Texas School of Dentistry.  The Healthy Texas Babies initiative will include activities and interventions based on current research and Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait, a March of Dimes program that has been successfully piloted in Kentucky.  

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Star Performer: Kisha Rogers

 Kisha Rogers

Kisha Rogers

The School of Dentistry Employee Relations Committee (ERC) has named Kisha Rogers, support specialist in the Office of Patient Care, as Star Performer for the Third Quarter. Originally from New Orleans, Rogers now lives in Katy and has been employed at the School of Dentistry since 2007. Her job includes a variety of duties, but her primary responsibilities are registering urgent care and afternoon assessment patients and serving as a contact for dental records. As a Star Performer, she will receive a cash award, a desk award and one day of administrative leave.  “I’m feeling very blessed and thankful for everyone that nominated me,” she said. “It’s such a great honor to receive recognition for my job performance and duties in trying to help others.”

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Faculty: ‘Give it to the students’

Faculty Incentive Plan students 

Funds from the Faculty Incentive Plan went to these students.
From left are Luke Seng, Robin Weltman, DDS; Jaclyn
Dienna, Laura Huertas, Nick Cobb and Interim Dean John
Valenza, DDS. Photo by Brian Schnupp.

In 2009, Interim Dean John Valenza, DDS, proposed and the faculty approved a plan to enhance clinic productivity and put a little extra money in the pockets of School of Dentistry faculty clinicians. The “Faculty Incentive Plan” promised to divide any extra clinical revenue over last year’s totals to the participating faculty.  But now that the money is here, the faculty has voted to gift the funds from this inaugural year back to the students.  A faculty subcommittee proposed that the funds should be awarded to students who had top net production for the prior year in the DS4, DS3, and DH2 classes.  The student recipients include fourth-year dental student Nick Cobb, second-year dental hygiene student Laura Huertas, with a tie between third-year dental students Jaclyn Dienna and Luke Seng. Valenza was pleased with the outcome.  "The faculty were enthusiastically supportive of this award,” he said, “and its impact was clearly evident on the faces of the student recipients."

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St. Patrick’s Day Raffle

St. Patrick's Day


The School of Dentistry Employee Relations Committee (ERC) will begin selling St. Patrick’s Day raffle tickets Tuesday, March 1. Win a basket full of goodies, including an adult beverage. Tickets are 50 cents each, three for $1, or 20 for $5 and are available from any ERC member. The drawing will be held Thursday, March 17. For more information, contact, 713-500-4386. Other members of the ERC include: Loraine Alexander, Rubie Armelin, Nancy Bass, Jenny Dowell, Mamie Ellis, Cecilia Garza, Kathleen Henshaw, Karen Hindman, Ed Kelly, Jayne Little, Ronda Lowe, Kimberly Magee, Sandra Miller, Joanne Murrell, John O’Black, Vanessa Ponce, Louise Stacey, Dorothy Roberts-Goff, Phlechette Turner and Sandra Watkins.

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Endodontists host UTSD Endophiles

Endodontists Meeting

‘Endophiles’ at Houston Academy of Endodontists meeting.
From left: Darren Redman, Vanessa Rubin, Dr. Sam Dorn,
Carlos F. Carrion, Elizabeth Botello, Dr.Leif Bakland, Adrian
Reyes and Chris Hoffpauir.


Members of “Endophiles,” a new predoctoral study club for students interested in endodontics, were invited guests at a recent meeting of the Houston Academy of Endodontists.  The speaker was Dr. Leif Bakland of Loma Linda University, whose topic was “Resorption of Teeth.”  He also came to the School of Dentistry to speak to endodontic residents the following day. 

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UTHealth Day at Health Museum

UTHealth employees and up to four guests each can enjoy free admission to The Health Museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 5. The museum is located at 1515 Hermann Drive in Houston. Employees should bring this flier along with a UTHealth employee ID. Current exhibits include “Water’s Extreme Journey,” “Planet You 3D,” the “Amazing Body Pavilion” and “You: The Exhibit.”

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